LONDON: British telecom giant Vodafone is to bring 2,100 customer service jobs back to the UK over the next two years. The move is said to be part of its £2bn ($2.44bn) investment plan aimed at improving operations in its home market. The world’s second biggest mobile operator said it will bring these jobs back from South Africa, India and Egypt, where it is currently being carried out. However, it is understood that not all of its outsourced jobs will be brought back home. The company is said to retain some of them including technical staff in Egypt. In the UK, these new roles will be made available across its existing call centre facilities that are located in the Midlands, Scotland, Wales and Manchester. With regards to actual numbers, it is said that about 800 jobs will be shifted to Manchester, 600 to Newcastle and about 300 to Scotland. The move follows Vodafone being fined £4.6m by Ofcom in October 2016 over mishandling customer complaints and non-delivery of services to pay-as-you-go clients. It also follows other UK companies bringing back home their outsourced call-centre jobs.
For instance, EE which brought back thousands of call-centre jobs in 2014 said recently that such jobs will now be placed either in Britain or Ireland. Meanwhile, BT, which acquired EE, has also started the process of bringing back its customer support jobs from India. Commenting on the latest move, Nick Jeffery, CEO at Vodafone UK was cited by the Financial Times as saying, “These new, skilled roles will make a real difference to our customers and a real difference to the communities that are the focus of our customer services investment.” Meanwhile, the UK culture secretary Karen Bradley said: “Vodafone is one of our country’s great international success stories and it’s fantastic this global organisation is demonstrating its confidence in the UK by creating new jobs across the north, in the midlands, in Scotland and in Wales.”